Sunday, March 23, 2014

Good Governance : Chief Election Agenda For - 2014

                         Interesting Indian National Election- 2014
                     
            The 2014 election have many similarities with 2008 American election. High level youth engagement is its new dimension. Social media has emerged as a new marketing tool. It is impacting more than 150 MP seats grossly.
 For the first time, youths and candidates are using it on a high scale to reach the masses and convey political messages. Agenda good governance (GG) is in focus with corruption is in side. Hence, 2014 election has become an interesting, noisy and curious election.
            The Government of India failed to meet public expectations in its second term- particularly the young.  Bush badly performed in his second term. And Obama was hope for Americans. Hence, a situational Obama wave was developed in 2008. Similarly Narendra Modi is posing to market the situation created by present congress led government of India. But SA Aiyar in his Swaminomics says “There is modi effect, but not a Modi wave.” It seems correct to a greater extent.
           Political market buzz says none is going to have absolute majority. A triangular contest is most probable. One is Narendra Modi led BJP. The other is Congress led Rahul Gandhi. And last may be BJP or Cong supported third front. Coalition before election could not get the desired shape. It is a dream on paper. But in case of fractured mandate, it will be a potent option.
            There is a big question. Will Modi-of-2014 will be able to prove a photocopy of Obama-of-2008?  There is similarity between them in their style of functioning and marketing. One, both is well read and having in-depth knowledge of politics. Two, both are ICT savvy. Three, both are authoritative and decisive. Four, both are good orators and famous for their effective speeches. Five, both are self-made. Six, both are pursuing personality politics over party politics. Seven, while Obama is internet, Modi is a 3D innovative user in politics.
           Elections are contested on issues called Election agenda. There are many issues in political market. One is good governance (GG). Two is corruption. Three is unemployment. Four is economic slowdown. Five is price rise. Six is development. Seven is vote bank politics. Eight is dynastic rule. And there is a long list of issues including major or minor.
           What is the chief or main election agenda in 2014? It is yet not very clear.  Under present circumstances GG is taking the centre position in close association with corruption and other issues.  Recent social developments made some hidden agenda visible. Corruption is a long standing issue before our citizens.
           BJP tried to make issue of corruption an agenda in 2004. 2004 vision document in its war on corruption heading reveal it. It said BJP believed that corruption is the greatest hurdle in India’s development march.
The party believed that the menace of corruption had to be fought at all levels. But it couldn’t see light of the day. It was like a seed in infertile soil. Recent Anna led agitation cured soil. Hence, barren lands become fertile. Therefore, gave proper condition to seed to sprout.
            Now the invisible potent social issue of corruption is on surface and shining. Corruption is now a big and visible issue. But it is in its childhood. It needs good nursing to give it a healthy and fast growth.
Every issue needs it own time to bear fruits. Corruption being newly born baby can’t be a fruit bearing in near future. Hence, it is in the role of a side hero. GG is taking the role of main hero of 2014 election picture. 
            Anna and team raised their voice against corruption in last two years. Baba Ramdeo has coined black money issue. Both assisted each other issue wise. Public got a new hope and started dreaming something good. It sets corruption as one of the core agenda in Indian politics.
These agitations gave a direction and turning to Indian politics. They made a cancerous issue –invisible corruption-visible. It is a start towards cleaning of the politics and promoting entry of good people into politics who are averse to it.
            In political marketing too demand and supply is very relevant. GG and fight against corruption are political products high in demand. Those, who supplied it, won the elections. GG sellers are many like Nitish Kumar, Narendra modi, Shiela Dixit, ShivRaj Chauhan, etc. As a result, public repeated them.
             But, none is selling the political product fight against corruption except AAP. This is the reason it has made Delhi assembly election a triangular contest, albeit it’s very short life of less than a year.
           GG is now a matured and fruit bearing political agenda. It repeated many chief ministers in Indian states. Our PM Manmohan Singh repeated in 2009 on this score.
Mahwish Hafeez in his write-up reflection says any individual party in nearly two decades, reaped the reward for good governance, dramatic economic growth during its first term. The result shows a kind of respect and acknowledgment of the policies launched by Manmohan Singh.
            But two year old agenda of corruption is in its adolescent age. It will take time to be a matured and full-fledged election agenda to bring fruits like GG. Our political executives need to wait to harness its potential.
               Arvind kejriwal and others broke with Anna. They associated for a very short span. Kejriwal with his broken team formed Aam Admi Party(AAP) a year ago. AAP has come out with a new ideology. It is trying to clean dirt from politics from its symbol broom. And it is trying to supply what is highly demanded in political market.
               Corruption free politics is utmost demanded political product. Except AAP none is supplying it. This issue is damaging and hitting hard all political parties. Therefore, all parties are compelled to amend their ways to supply this product in order to maintain and sustain their market share.
                AAP, Anna and Baba have given a new direction and turn to Indian politics. Indian political landscape is changing fast. Young India – most of them unemployed or under employed- will play a key role. They have taken social media as political tool to engage themselves in election activities. 
 This young energy has energized the election to make it more interesting and curious. For the first time, social media will be in use on a large scale as one of the prominent political tool for political marketing. Candidates of more than 200 seats are taking help to this new tool to engage voters.
             India is a youthful nation. India’s young people are on the move. They are reaching for new opportunities made possible. The United Nations defines youth as people between ages 15 and 24. By this measure, there are approximately 240 million youth in India, about 20% of the population, according to preliminary projections from the 2011 census.  That’s up from 195 million in 2001. The median age in India is 25, meaning that half  the population is below 25 and half is above it.
             The youth’s political participation in terms of attending rallies and campaigns is on the rise, according to survey and data collated by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). UN-Habitat and IRIS Knowledge Foundation released State of the Urban Youth-India 2013 report.
             Report reveals nearly 71% of urban youngsters showed interest in politics in 2013 as compared to 45% in 2009. Young men displayed nearly twice as much interest as young women.  Along with interest in politics, youngsters’ involvement in political campaigning also increased. Twenty- two per cent youngsters participated in campaign activities in 2011as compared to 14% in 2009. Increasing participation of youth with social media will give a new color to 2014 election match.   
             Almost youngsters are social media savvy. They are now using fast and cheap social media to reach the voters and convey message. As a result 2014 is going to witness many new innovations and changes.
Bad governance and continuous disclosures of scams have highlighted the need and demand for GG. Down going economic growth rate (GDP) accelerated the quest for GG.
Good people didn’t show keen interest in politics before Delhi result. But Delhi result of AAP changed this scenario. Now good people are joining politics willingly-who were loath to it. \
AAP is doing a nice job by giving tickets to such  personalities. This step of AAP is a game changer in Indian politics. And others have to follow it. Now many good, reputed and famous persons are contesting elections.
Failure of Congress led government on GG front is the strength to Modi led BJP. Modi is marketing his GG of Gujarat as chief minister. This makes our election very interesting. And finally GG is emerging as chief agenda with corruption inside.
        
Heera Lal (Views are personal and based on different sources)

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